We know what you’re thinking, what’s a yummy product like chocolate doing in our Marketplace section? Well it turns out that high levels of cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate and cocoa powder offer several health benefits, including improved circulation. FlavaNaturals is a great resource for dark chocolate that is high in cocoa flavanols with the taste of gourmet heaven!
When we first started studying the health benefits of cocoa flavanols, we found there were clinical studies showing improved cognition and heart health, and that most experts attribute these benefits to improved blood flow (cocoa flavanols support circulation by boosting artery dilation and elasticity). Next we discovered scientific evidence that cocoa flavanols can help bolster your mood and reduce stress, a key trigger for Raynaud’s attacks. Have to admit a chocolate bar a day would definitely be a great pick me up! Rather than spend a lot of time here on the science behind how cocoa flavanols work, check out our article titled Can Cocoa Flavanols Help Frosties? from an earlier blog post.
OK, but can chocolate really help Frosties? To date, there haven’t been clinical trials to address this question, but we were curious to give it a try. We worked with FlavaNaturals to recruit 35 people with Raynaud’s and had them try FlavaMix cocoa powder with 900mg of cocoa flavanols daily for a month. It’s not a huge sample, and it was only an observational study (no control group), but the results were promising: 40% stated they experienced a benefit in terms of either fewer or less severe attacks, less pain in their extremities and/or were better able to tolerate the cold. We’ve conducted similar tests with two other drinkable powder-based products containing L’Arginine, an amino acid known to help boost circulation in its topical form. Neither of these tests produced the kind of positive feedback we received from the cocoa flavanol study group.
But before you start stocking up on Hershey bars, know that cocoa flavanol levels consumed in successful clinical studies generally range between 500mg and 1,000mg per day. That’s five times more than you’ll find in a standard bar of dark chocolate or a serving of cocoa powder, and don’t even think about comparing it to milk chocolate with even less, or white chocolate that has none at all!
That’s why it’s important to know your chocolate source. It turns out that flavanols levels vary substantially from bean to bean and can be mostly destroyed by conventional chocolate processing. FlavaNaturals has developed proprietary methods of bean sourcing, harvesting, fermentation, roasting and handling. The company searches the world to find the most premium high flavanol beans, partners with farmers to assure selection of only the best and freshest beans, and uses precise controls in the fermentation and roasting processes to maximize both cocoa flavanols and rich chocolate flavor.
FlavaNaturals makes two flavanol-rich (and tasty!) products: FlavaMix cocoa powder and FlavaBar dark chocolate bars. FlavaMix is an unsweetened cocoa powder that is the richest form of cocoa flavanols. It comes in either a large canister, or a pouch with single serving packets each containing 900mg of cocoa flavanols. This is the recommended daily serving size to obtain maximum health benefits. Keep in mind the cocoa powder in this product form is unsweetened, so sweeten to taste and mix it in with your smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal, yogurt, or try one of the delicious recipes found on the company’s web site like their Chocolate Banana Yogurt Smoothie Bowl. Hard to believe this can be good for you! And a single serving of FlavaMix adds only 35 calories to your favorite mix-in ingredients!
FlavaBars are quick and easy-to-eat dark chocolate bars with flavors that will make your mouth water, including: Blueberry + Green Tea, Ginger + Saigon Cinnamon, Roasted Almond + Himalayan Pink Salt, and Espresso Ground Coffee. For chocolate purists, there’s also Pure Cocoa Nibs and Classic Dark Chocolate. Each delicious bar contains 500mg of cocoa flavanols. And if you can’t make up your mind, try the Library Set with a full assortment that makes a great gift for any chocolate lover on your list. I compared the calorie content of these bars to one of my favorite indulgent foods: Each bar contains approximately 180 calories – that’s the equivalent of one Mint Chocolate Covered Oreo, but is so much better for you!
Special Discount for Our Members:
Offer Code: FROSTIES
FlavaMix cocoa powder comes in two sizes: The large canister with 31 900mg portions for $49.99, or the 10-pack single serve sachets for $19.99. FlavaBars sell in 10-packs for $23.99, or try the library gift set of 10-mixed flavors for $25.95.
But it gets better, as a Sponsor of the Raynaud’s Association, FlavaNaturals is offering our members a 10% discount. Just use discount code FROSTIES during the checkout process.
The price may sound like a lot for chocolate, but when you think about the work that goes into the sourcing and manufacturing process in order to maintain levels of flavanols not found in other products, you’ll understand why this is no ordinary chocolate – it’s decadent chocolate that can offer health benefits with a lot less guilt!
P.O. Box 1236
Marblehead, MA 01945